In the latest in our Desert Island Clips series, Tess Alps, CEO of Thinkbox, shares her favourite ads, TV and film moments with Jason Stone, editor of David Reviews.
Tess Alps is the foremost champion of the television commercial. Over the past six years, she and her able confederates at Thinkbox have crusaded against the idea that TV is a spent force. It’s been a tough fight. The conviction that television will inevitably give way to the internet has been pervasive for much of the last decade, but it says much for the excellence of Thinkbox’s lobbying that commercial broadcasters are in ruder health than any of the doomy soothsayers have predicted. It’s a battle that has to be fought again and again. In part, this is because the greatest fear of those who work in the advertising industry is that they’ll be left behind if they don’t pay attention to new possibilities and this can make them dismissive of the tried and the tested. But using a combination of persuasive charm, intelligent analysis and a dog called Harvey, Thinkbox is continually tackling those heretically claiming that TV is a dying medium. Its campaign has been so successful that it’s almost as if advertising and television have renewed their vows... with Tess Alps officiating at the ceremony. It’s a surprise, then, to learn that she came rather late to a love for commercials and “only started working in the advertising industry by accident”. Newly married with a postgraduate drama degree in her back pocket, Alps took a temporary job as an accounts assistant at ATV and was as surprised as anyone to find herself still working in the business eight years later: “I just got sucked in... and because I was working in television, I rationalised that I was doing some good because advertising could pay for wonderful programmes to be made.” For a long time, that was the only upside as far as she was concerned.